1/8/10

Tahquitz Canyon

The desert town of Palm Springs backs up against the eastern slope of the San Jacinto mountains. Cahuilla Indians (pronounced ka-we-ah) lived in the mountain's many canyon folds, presumably created by ancient glaciers and/or snow melt running down the mountain. The mountain top is nearly always covered with snow. Today, four of the canyons are open for hiking. We walked the 2-mile loop in Tahquitz Canyon on our second day in the desert.

Previous generations of tourists trashed Tahquitz, resulting in its closure for restoration some years ago. Tahquitz is open again, this time with a $12.50 admission price.

Unlike Palm Springs' other canyons, Tahquitz has no palms--a mystery. Instead, I was surprised to find small groves of Western scyamores (Platanus racemosa). Our visit begins now, turning away from the sprawling desert community.

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

The grasses growing in every rocky crevice reminded me of the Pennisetum setaceum escaped from resort landscaping and colonizing the Big Island of Hawaii's many lava fields.

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

IMG_0251

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

Who wants to see your nasty initials? Yuck.

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

Note human in red t-shirt for scale.

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

I like the distribution of clumps of color and size and texture...with the small tree as a natural focal point next to the water feature pond.

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon

Come back soon for Palm Canyon!

5 comments:

Dirt Guy said...

Thanks for another great walk in the desert. That one big rock looks like Jaba The Hut.

Nicole said...

Lovely place, especially like the waterfall, its quite beautiful and magical looking.

Brent said...

The pictures of the Sycamores against the mountains are beautiful!

fairegarden said...

What a breathtaking spot. I had to search for the red t shirt but finally found it, massive formation there. The grasses are beautiful. Are they native or escapees? They really add to the drama, just like the branches and trees. The waterfall just fits, like the pond. Can't wait for more.
Frances

Julie said...

i love these areas! we were out in the Palm Springs area and Joshua Tree a few summers ago...and what an amazing and wonderful world!!!